[SIGCIS-Members] Discipline-Specific Debates in Oral History?

Laine Nooney laine.nooney at gmail.com
Wed May 24 13:41:00 PDT 2017

Hi all,

In a moment of cosmic timeliness, I'm currently revising an article on oral
history practice as it relates to my work in videogame history.

There's obviously a wealth of information on generalist approaches to oral
history, or more specific methodological lenses (feminist, postcolonial),
to provide lit review. But in writing, I've been wondering if there's any
scattering of literature that might constitute something like
discipline-specific engagement with oral history (understanding that "the
discipline" here ranges from history of technology and science to STS to
media studies to library science, etc.).

For some reason, in the history of computing and games particularly, there
can be a lingering attachment to interpreting oral history sources as
unmediated vessels of their own experience, even though this has been
roundly debunked by oral history scholarship going back to the mid-1970s.
Is it the complexity of technical systems, an extension of their presumed
objectivity and rationality, that keeps certain interviewers and historians
working in this mode? Are there other issues specific to our shared domains
that might form the basis of a reading list on this subject?

I would be grateful for any references and readings members of the group
could direct my way.

Laine Nooney

DM <http://dm.lmc.gatech.edu/> @ LMC <http://lmc.gatech.edu/> @ GT
Assistant Professor
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